Bonded labours still exist in UP

| | Aligarh
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Bonded labours still exist in UP

Wednesday, 12 August 2020 | Pradeep Saxena | Aligarh

Despite the Supreme Court's order to ban the bonded labour, a large number of such labourers are working in different brick kilns of Aligarh and Hathras district.

Although the labour department of Uttar Pradesh has rescued 670 bonded labourers, including 20 fron Aligarh and 21 from Bulandshahr, from clutches of brick kiln owners till now. Sources said most of rge kiln labourers belong to Atrauli tehsil. More than 30,000 labours are hired to work at kilns situated in UP, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi. Some organised gangs are involved in arranging bonded labourers.

They lay advance money to the labourers and send them to different district. The agents charge a high commision from kiln owners fo these labours.

Nearly 1,200 bonded labours have been rescued from different places. Of the 1,200, more than 220belongs to Atrauli region in Aligarh district.

Sources said mostly these labourers are picked up from Bihar and interiors of Uttar Pradesh. Most of them belongs to schedule castes and scheduled tribe communities. Although these labours are engaged on meagre wages, they are usually lured by employers through advance loans. The poor wages ensure that they can't repay the loan amount and continue working as bonded labours. Often their family members are kept as surety by the owners of kiln.

The labours live their in unhygienic and inhuman conditions as well. Sources also say that due to polluted atmosphere created by brick kiln furnaces, most of the labourers and their children suffer from various diseases such as tuberculosis, asthma and bronchitis.

The Uttar Pradesh government had given orders that children and labourers working and living in brick kiln would be educated at primary stage by the kiln owners. Still, not a single child of these labourers has been sent to school by the owners.

The bonded labourers are often sexually and physically abused by the owners.

Several examples including Nagla Parsi brick kiln, Akrabad of Aligarh and others of Hathras are testimony to this fact.

Sources said National Human Right Commission have received more than 430 complaints from various brick kilns of Uttar Pradesh regarding bonded labours of their sexual and physical harassment.

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